BRANCH TOWNSHIP – Senator David G. Argall (R-29) reviewed the Indian Run Dam project in Branch Township yesterday with Pat Caulfield, Executive Director of the Schuylkill County Municipal Authority (SCMA), to monitor the first week of construction from state grants through the Commonwealth Financing Authority H2O PA High Hazard Unsafe Dam Program.
Argall visited the dam upgrades with Caulfield noting the vital impact this project will have with local municipalities. “These grants, which the State Representatives and I secured in 2009, are being put to good use for the residents in ten communities, including Pottsville,” said Argall. “These grants are some of the largest in the state and for good reason.”
Argall continued, “My grandmother was impacted greatly when a dam broke near Middleport in the 1970s and flooded her home. I have seen firsthand the devastation and pain it can cause families to go through clean up after a dam fails.”
Caulfield noted that the dam has served the residents well and has endured over 80 years. “We are thankful for the state to aid this much-needed project in order to protect local residents and businesses from potential flooding,” said Caulfield. “We are on target for this project to be completed in thirteen months. These improvements will not only help secure our county’s water supply, it will also add much-needed safety upgrades to the spillway and drainage system.”
The dam is owned and operated by the SCMA for municipal water supply. The funding was a priority due the dam being included on DEP’s list of Unsafe High Hazard Dams.
Based on a detailed evaluation of alternatives completed for the Indian Run Dam, the rehabilitation project will include construction of a replacement spillway. The installation of an embankment and foundation drainage system and modifications to the downstream slope are also part of the proposed project.
The project was bid in March 2011 and construction began earlier this week. Performance Construction Services is the contractor for the project.
“Along with protecting local residents, this project has created several job opportunities for the residents of Schuylkill County,” added Caulfield, noting the tough economic times.
Contact: Jon Hopcraft